There is a spirit of discord that is widespread right now in our culture. This spirit is rooted in anger and bitterness. Its mission is to sow disunity and conflict. The spirit is a scoffer. A scoffer is very proud, yet insecure. It is evident through hostility and friction, that the scoffer’s purpose is to cause heated disagreement and overall antagonism. An antagonist is a person who actively opposes someone or something. He becomes our adversary or enemy in the process.
A scoffer may have been wronged or perceived wrong in some way throughout his or her life and has now chosen not to forgive. The scoffer takes matters into their own hands and begins to judge others. Not only do they judge, but they nitpick people so to make their life miserable.
A scoffer is extremely controlling and must have his or her own way. They are demanding and treat others with contempt, which creates disharmony. Nobody is as important as the scoffer and his or her viewpoints are always superior to anyone else’s. Strife is recognized as a heated or violent disagreement or argument. The spirit of Strife seeks to cause churches, friends, families and coworkers to bicker and backbite, but be careful less you devour one another. The scoffer is a master of character assassination.
“But if you bite and devour one another (in bickering and strife), watch out that you (along with your entire fellowship) are not consumed by one another.” (Galatians 5:15 AMP)
Strife often occurs when a person is disrespectful and self-centered. Putting others down is one way to stir up strife. An attitude of superiority is ripe ground for strife to take root and grow. Haughtiness is an abomination to the Lord.
“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” (Proverbs 6:16)
I believe a critical spirit and strife work together by nitpicking everything else that someone is saying or doing. A person who is operating in strife has no regard for other’s feelings or concerns. They simply bulldoze their way through life, wounding or destroying anyone in their path. Strife wreaks havoc in families, churches, workplaces and schools, anywhere strife is, there is pain. Divorce is the result of unresolved strife. Church splits are a result of unresolved strife. Loss of family relationships and friends all the result of the spirit of Strife.
So how do we overcome strife. First, we must make a conscious decision that we will not enter in to strife with others, as tempting as that may be. “Blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9) Second, “Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; Yes, strife and reproach will cease.” (Proverbs 22:10) Therefore, it is so important that we discern when the spirit of Strife has entered a situation through a person allowing it access into their life. Deliverance and inner healing are key to finding freedom from the treacherous spirit of Strife.
Dear Lord, deliver me from the spirit of Strife and cast out the scoffer in my life. Heal my wounds and forgive me for any bitterness or unforgiveness in my heart. Create in me a clean heart and a right spirit so I may be pleasing in your sight. Help me be a loving and compassionate person that can diffuse strife and bring about peace in all circumstances. In Jesus name. Amen.